APEX VI: A Minnesotan’s Apocalyptic Odyssey

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I recently got the opportunity to fly from Minnesota to New York City to attend two of three days of APEX VI. The event, billed as an “apocalyptic music event”, was held in Queens, New York over the weekend of June 5th – June 7th. It was hosted by Theologian of Annihilvs Power Electronix. I caught a couple performances I was dying to see, and was introduced to a plethora of new exciting “musical” acts.

While I was in New York City on June 5th, I learned through the usual social media channels that Burial Hex would not make his scheduled appearance. I have gushed over 2014’s The Heirophant on this very site more than once. Reminder: it’s brilliant. It’s one of my favorite pieces of music from last year. It made me an instant fan. The news was quite discouraging. Burial Hex is not an artist I have had or will have many opportunities to see. I wrote “that sucks” on the announcement; by the end of the weekend I had almost forgotten he was scheduled to play.

On the first night of the event, my two favorite performances belonged to Sutekh Hexen and IRM. Sutekh Hexen occupied the upstairs stage a couple of acts in. They played as a three piece, two guitarists and a vocalist who dwarfed them both. They played a chaotic mix of raw black metal and noise; the volume was so loud that at times it all droned together like a more intense version of Sunn 0))). IRM accomplished the impressive feat of following them up and matching their performance. IRM play industrial or post-industrial noise. They also played as a three piece live, with vocalist Martin Bladh, a guitarist, and someone operating the noise. I was impressed that they maintained a high quality of sound given their medium even at such a tremendous volume.

After buying my ticket to the event and planning the trip, Gnaw Their Tongues played Maryland Deathfest in the interim, to mostly negative reviews from fans – at least that was what I heard and read. I have to say I had a much different experience with his performance than what was reported to me. I imagine a noise fest is a better setting for Gnaw Their Tongues than a large scale metal festival. I also think the intimate venue made a difference. His set was dark, fast, and intense. The first night of the event ran late, and he played well after 2:00 am. I admit I was somewhat distracted, because I was attempting to find a car service to make it across town to my lodging.

All videos can be credited to Frank Huang of Pit Full of Shit. His video work is excellent; videos do not do justice to some of these performances. No video was available for
Menace Ruine’s set.

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I did not catch Svartsinn’s set the second night. It was a case of the spirit is willing, but the body is broken. My favorite performances from that night were the final two performances of the event, Sophia + Karjalan Sissit and The Body. Sophia + Karjalan Sissit opened their set with three incredible songs. As a three piece, two men alternated between doing vocals and playing drums and a sheet of steel which had been set up as a drumset on the stage. They had a military, martial vibe. Their set was delayed due to technical issues. After an interlude (which consisted of many Europeans in the audience shouting jokes at them), they finished a long set. Regrettably I could not hear their mics after the intermission, but they still put on a hell of a show. Karjalan Sissit was a madman on stage.

I had seen postings on social media and heard rumors over the weekend that The Body would be playing “as their largest incarnation ever”. At the beginning of the night Sunday I got a chance to talk with two men who were at the venue to play with them, and they confirmed that The Body would be playing as a nine piece band. After Sophia + Karjalan Sissit, they began setting up the stage and surrounding area for the performance. They dragged their speakers and sound systems out as well. I had been wearing ear plugs all weekend, and many of the acts still played at unreal volumes. Seeing them set up additional speakers was a bit startling, to say the least. This version of The Body was four drummers (including Lee Buford), a couple of guitarists (including Chip King, also on vocals), a man operating some sort of mechanically triggered drum, and two men operating noise equipment (including Theologian). In twenty five minutes they laid waste to the venue. The drumming was totally synchronized; each cymbal and hi-hat was deafening. It was the loudest concert I have ever heard, and easily one of the best performances. I stuck around after their set and got a chance to meet both Lee Buford and Chip King. They were both really friendly and cool. I asked Lee how he felt playing a noise fest and he told me it was more in line with who they are and what they listen to.

Over the course of the weekend I also had the opportunity to meet metal writer Kim Kelly and Theologian, the event’s curator. I also met and hung out with noise musician Auditor, and we ended up spending a lot of time discussing heavy metal and noise. I talked with Lee / Theologian a bit about Burial Hex’s cancellation, and the Gnaw Their Tongues Maryland Deathfest appearance. I learned Brandon / Auditor would be playing keyboards live with Aevangelist on their next tour. It was a tremendous experience meeting all three (among many others I met over the weekend), which only added to the musical performances.

The event was well organized, and it proved to be an unforgettable weekend for me. At the end of this post is a flyer for another APEX event in August. I would encourage all of our East Coast friends to attend, even if this isn’t usually your cup of tea. Richard Ramirez and The Rita are both very prominent acts in the world of noise.

All videos can be credited to Frank Huang of Pit Full of Shit.

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apexxviiiflyer

You can check out some professional photos of the event over at Brooklyn Vegan.

Cover image via

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Excellent writeup Edward, sounds like it was a blast. I hope to do a similar concert review with Cold Waves later this year.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Thanks CO!

      I look forward to reading that. I came home and caught your Author & Punisher review. I am going to listen to that in full at my first opportunity.

  • God

    I recognized two bands in this article. Am I no longer a poser?

  • Tyree

    Did you go out and get ice cream with Kim Kelly?

    • KJM

      I can’t stop listening to Dopethrone. I may need help, or just bigger speakers.

      • God

        The second one

      • Tyree

        Just smoke more.

        • Dagon

          And get bigger speakers! Hochelaga keeps growing and growing on me, it’s crazy.

          • Tyree

            It is a massive sounding album. Every thing shakes on the shelves when I blast that fucker.

          • Dagon

            Best stoner sludge of the year so far? I think so. Top 5 stoner doom/sludge/rock overall too. Very solid album.

          • KJM

            Easily.

          • Tyree

            That and Monolord.

          • KJM

            YES.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Was going to make a reply.
            Tyree got there first.

          • My grandfather has an epic speaker set up in his house. One time whilst he was on a trip, I went to his house and blasted several doom and stoner albums. Everything shook. I’m surprised people weren’t reporting earthquakes.

          • KJM

            So fucking good. Weedeater to the 1000th power.

          • Dagon

            So much better than the new Weedeater, it’s not even fair. Even though Goliathan is a good to ok album.

          • KJM

            Agreed on both points.

        • KJM

          Good plan, will do.

        • Herr Schmitty

          Not sure a situation exists where that’s bad advice.

      • Howard Dean

        “Dope priest, prophecy!
        Doomantra from beneath the sea,
        Green throne, raised to the black sun
        Doom child, wake to planet song!”

        • Dagon

          I think he means this one:

          SMOKE
          DRINK
          DIE

          • KJM

            Yes, but the other works too.

            I got dem scum fuck bloooz!!!

          • Howard Dean
          • Tyree
          • Howard Dean

            The first time I watched the documentary “The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia” and heard that riff erupt on screen (during the scene when the kid in prison talks about shooting his uncle’s face off), I was so pumped. Amazing riff. Forbidden Sorceryyyyyyyy!

          • Dagon

            Funeralopolis has one of my favorite riffs of all time. Such a perfect intro.

          • Howard Dean

            I’ve always loved that riff, too. When that riff comes in full volume after the intro (at about 1:30 if I remember correctly), look the fuck out! HUGE!

    • Howard Dean

      EDWARD RODE A HOVEROUND WITH GRIM KIM

    • Howard Dean

      T-minus 5 minutes before she angrily tweets @ the ToH twitter account and demands that Edward take down that line about her.

    • Pagliacci is Kvlt O)))

      She only eats the most obscure grim icecream, you’ve probably never heard of it.

      • The W.

        So, forbidden cartons of Blue Bell?

        • “AS COLD AND GRIM AS LIQUID NITROGREN!”

          -Blue Bell

          • The W.

            The lack of Blue Bell is still a sore subject for folks round here.

          • Not a huge product here. Weren’t they hit with a salmonella outbreak?

          • The W.

            Listeria. They were the reigning ice cream overlords in Texas (for good reason). Even my folks in Colorado were bummed because they only recently got Blue Bell up there.

          • KJM

            Massachusetts is full of quality ice cream. Blue Bell is just one of many here.

          • We have 2 Dairy Queens. One is right across the street from Texas Roadhouse (they have the best fried pickles).

            -JJD

          • The W.

            But how close are they to your house?

          • Nearly as close as the Thaco Bhell – which is right across the street from LA Fitness (wear I work out).

            -JJD

          • KJM

            GL plz!!!

          • The W.
          • I saw something like this at the April Wine concert I went to last fall. I frickin love Rush, too.

            -JJD

          • KJM

            5 more days until Rush!!!!

          • I hope they come to Poughkeepsie soon. If they do come, you are welcome to stay at my house! and we have a pool!

            -JJD

          • This thread gave me cancer

          • Sir Tapir the Based™

            Wouldn’t it be a shame if a large Finno-Ugric herbivorous mammal came and stabbed you before the show?

          • KJM

            Mmm…deep fried Tapir. Them’s good eatin’.

          • Sir Tapir the Based™

            I’m gonna give you the worst shits.

          • KJM

            I’ll take Pepto Bismol.

          • Tyree

            Ooof, that stuff makes me constipated.

          • Sir Tapir the Based™

            Doesn’t work against the good old tapir shits.

          • KJM

            Now I’m worried.

          • Kevin Nash & Friends

            I’m at the gym though.

          • The W.
          • that is my pool.

            -JJD

          • Tyree

            convenient that pool.

          • Kevin Nash & Friends

            GL plz! I work out at Crunch!

          • KJM

            I am now officially confused.

          • Kevin Nash & Friends

            This hurts my head.

          • This does hurts my head.

          • There’s too much JJD in here! What’s happening?

          • Link Plz!

          • There’s never too much JJD!

          • This really hurts my head. Stop plz.

          • Imitators will not be tolerated. I agree.

          • Sir Tapir the Based™

            Which one is the real JJD? We have to shoot them both!

          • KJM

            It’s the old ‘Star Trek’ conundrum. Shoot ’em both for the good of The Toilet.

          • Kevin Nash & Friends

            I’m the real one. My photo is the one I used before him.

          • Sir Tapir the Based™

            I dunno, the other one seems more convincing.

          • Tapir plz!

          • I’m the real one. My photo is the one I used before him.

            TBell, Rush, Pickles, Crunchberries, I win.

          • The W.

            This one’s the real one. I’m certain of. Ban the impostor.

          • PLANTAINS BABY!

          • I do like plantains, dammit GL! Quit it!

          • Kevin Nash & Friends

            No, I win GL. I noticed some of your posts have GL at the bottom. You are GL.

          • Ask which one likes Rush

          • Yeah, ask which one likes Rush

          • I love Rush… they’re SO good!

      • Tyree

        But, did Edward indulge in this obscure grim icecream? I’m curious to know. Does it cause you to melt like ice cream?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeT9EtpZxzc

  • Dagon

    Your posts always look nice, damn. Solid write up too.

    It’s gonna take a while for me to watch all that footage though… Definitely not skipping The Body.

  • You def had a blast, Ed. Good writing over here, you never dissapoint!

    I’m watching the presentation of The Body, it’s interesting how they pull off that show with the two drumming with that style.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Thanks Link! It was pretty ridiculous. Definitely near the peak of live performances I have ever seen.

  • The W.

    Sutekh Hexen have some super spoopy art on their page.

    http://www.sutekhhexen.org/

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Buh… so cool

    • Guacamole Jim

      69spoopy420me

  • Damn, that looks and sounds like an intense gathering.

    GL

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      It was GL!

  • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan2

    At the last a7x concert Synyster Gates threw a fucking guitar plectrum in my bra..(I was wearing a normal A7x T-shirt) I was dissapointed i didn’t get one and when i came home .. i found it .. best moment ever.

    -OneX Smet, 1 year ago

    • CyberneticOrganism
      • I am still convinced W is RepostedA7X fan.

        GL

        • Sir Tapir the Based™

          Why?

        • CyberneticOrganism

          RepostedA7X fan has been around a lot longer than TOH. Unlikely, but not impossible.

          • The W.

            Shhhhh, let him teach the controversy.

          • The attention to detail in this post (by W) is the same required in all RepostedA7Xfans. This is the only post I can find of the same demeanor.

            “hi every1 im new!!!!!!! holds up spork my name is slamantha but u can call me t3h PeNgU1N oF djent!!!!!!!! lol…as u can see im very metuhl!!!! thats why i came here, 2 meet metuhl ppl like me _… im 13 years old (im mature 4 my age tho!!) i like 2 shred an jam Rings of $atturn w/ my girlfreind (im bi if u dont like it deal w/it) its our favorite death metugl band!!! bcuz its SOOOO metuhl!!!! shes metuhl 2 of course but i want 2 meet more metuhl ppl =) like they say the more the brutaller!!!! lol…neways i hope 2 make alot of freinds here so give me lots of commentses!!!! Djeeeeeeeeeeeent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <— me bein metuhl again _^ hehe…toodles!!!!!

            love and waffles,

            t3h PeNgU1N oF djent "

          • The W.

            Thanks for finding this. I forgot about it. I also changed the Navy Seal one, but I think that got lost in moderation on a different blog.

      • Tyree

        Guess she had no pockets for her cigarettes.

        “She smelled like cigarettes”

        http://star98radio.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Forrest-Gump-Wave-on-Boat.gif

  • Sounds like you had a nice trip Edward. I’m sure it was worth it to see all these artists perform in one spot. Trying to catch them all individually on tour would likely be a project.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      … it would probably be impossible Ron. I doubt many of these acts would ever even play in Minnesota.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    A good write-up. Don’t know if I’d personally could (not want, could) spend a whole festival listening to this. Karjalan Sissit is indeed fricken marvelous.

  • The W.

    So, Sutekh Hexen have an interesting sound. Leans far more towards noise than BM in my opinion. Sort of like Wold.

  • Most of these aren’t really up my alley, but great writeup nonetheless!

  • Howard Dean
  • The W.

    Ed, that video of The Body is p dope.

  • Barren Harvest sounds pretty swell. (Most “musical” of the bunch–go figure.) I shall check them (him?) out now.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Barren Harvest is a somber, ethereal collaboration between Lenny Smith (Atriarch) and Jessica Way (Worm Ouroboros).

      I just pulled that from a copy and paste of course, but I learned who they were while I was writing this article. Atriarch is a tight band.

      • Holy shit, I did not know that. Looooooove me some Atriarch. And Worm Ouroboros ain’t too shabby neither.